Submitted to: Preventive Medicine
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2005
Publication Date: 8/1/2005
Citation: Anderson, C.B., Hughes, S.O., Fisher, J.O., Nicklas, T.A. 2005. Cross-cultural equivalence of feeding beliefs and practices: The psychometric properties of the child feeding questionnaire among Blacks and Hispanics. Preventive Medicine. 41:521-531. Interpretive Summary: When studying individuals from varying ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds, it is important to be sure that the questionnaires used to measure attitudes and behaviors are equivalent across the groups of interest. This study evaluated a widely used questionnaire on parental beliefs and practices about child feeding in samples of Hispanic and African-American parents of children 3 to 5 years old. Results indicated that modifications to the questionnaire were required on items related to restriction of foods and perceived child weight. Results also indicated that higher parental education was related to perception of an overweight child as overweight in Hispanics, but not African-Americans, where both highly and lowly educated parents saw their child as normal. Although neither ethnic group expressed concern about child weight, concern was lowest among lower-educated Blacks.
Technical Abstract: Psychometrically sound measures are considered a necessary condition for valid research. This study used structural equation modeling to examine the cross-cultural equivalence of a widely used measure of parental beliefs and practices regarding child feeding, the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ) [Birch L.L., Fisher J.O., Grimm-Thomas K., Markey C.N., Sawyer R., Johnson S.L. Confirmatory factor analysis of the child feeding questionnaire: a measure of parental attitudes, beliefs and practices about child feeding and obesity proneness. Appetite 2001;36:201-10]. Low-income parents of 101 Black and 130 Hispanic pre-school children (126 girls, 105 boys) completed a reduced version of the CFQ. Confirmatory factor analyses using LISREL 8.51 supported the hypothesized factor structure but revealed cross-cultural conceptual problems on the perceived child weight factor and problematic items on the restriction factor that were addressed in a modified model. Invariance analyses demonstrated invariance of factor structure, loadings, and covariances in the modified model across ethnic groups. MANCOVA, that controlled for parent BMI and marital status, revealed ethnic differences on the child feeding responsibility, child weight concern, and perceived weight of child factors that were moderated by parent education and child BMI. Results supported the use of a modified version of the CFQ among Blacks and Hispanics and revealed no ethnic differences on factor scores, except on interactions with parent education and overweight status of child.